36% of rental market stocks taken in Q1 with demand climbing
The latest Rental Demand Index from estate and lettings agent, Barrows and Forrester, has revealed that Cornwall is currently the hottest spot in the nation’s rental market, not only home to the highest level of tenant demand but also seeing the largest increase so far this year.
The Rental Demand Index by Barrows and Forrester gauge tenant demand for rental homes across each county of England based on the level of available rental stock that has already been market as let agreed.
The latest index shows that in Q1, 36% of all rental market stock has already been snapped up by tenants, with demand climbing +1.9% on the previous quarter, although the market remains -2.1% cooler compared to this time last year.
In terms of the hottest spots in the current market, Cornwall tops the table, where a huge 64% of all available rental stock has already been let.
West Sussex is home to the second highest level of demand at 60%, with Bedfordshire (56%), Dorset (55%) and Wilshire (55%) also ranking within the top five.
Cornwall has also seen the largest quarterly uplift in demand, with 26% more rental properties let in Q1 versus Q4, 2022.
Rutland is home to the second-highest quarterly increase, with rental demand up by 15% in Q1 of this year, followed by Bristol (+12%), East Sussex (+11%) and Greater Manchester (+9%).
However, on an annual basis, it’s Bedfordshire that has seen the largest uplift in demand at 5.3%. Worcestershire is also home to some of the strongest annual movements in rental demand, up by 5% versus Q1 of 2022.
East Sussex (+5%), Staffordshire (+4%) and Greater Manchester (+3%) also make the top five counties for the largest annual uptick in rental demand.
At 19%, the West Midlands is currently home to the lowest level of current rental demand, while Durham has seen the largest quarterly decline (-10.6%), with Herefordshire seeing the largest annual drop (-12.8%).
Managing Director of Barrows and Forrester, James Forrester, commented: “While rental demand has crept up in Q1, the market as a whole isn’t quite as hot as it was this time last year, which means tenants looking for a property in the current rental market should find it that little bit easier.
“Of course, in some areas, demand remains incredibly high, while in others it has increased substantially both on a quarterly and annual basis. The upshot for tenants in these high-demand areas is a far tougher time securing a rental home and when they do, they can expect to pay an inflated level of rent for the pleasure.
“Unfortunately, with the government once again choosing to ignore buy-to-let landlords in the recent spring statement, the issue of rental stock supply is only likely to get worse as the year progresses.
“So those considering a move within the rental market are best advised to act sooner, rather than later before demand starts to soar and their options are substantially reduced.”